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How Your Loved One Can Overcome Codependency in Addiction Recovery

A man in recovery struggling with the stress from a codependent relationship.

Codependency may be one of the reasons why your spouse, child, parent or sibling started using alcohol or drugs in the first place. Maybe they had a friend or family member who encouraged their substance abuse. Or perhaps they idolized a colleague or mentor so much that they imitated their reckless behaviors.

Dysfunctional relationships like these have the potential to fuel your loved one’s destructive behaviors, even if they’ve successfully completed addiction treatment. Fortunately, your loved one can avoid codependency and achieve long-lasting recovery.

What is Codependency?

The term “codependency” is used when one person is dependent on someone else. A person who is codependent will plan their entire life around pleasing or enabling someone else’s behavior. It’s common for the codependent individual to get their feelings of self-worth from the other in the relationship.

Many people in addiction recovery discover that codependency was one of the underlying conditions of their addiction – like having a friend supporting and encouraging their substance abuse, for example. These codependent relationships can jeopardize your loved one’s recovery if they maintain contact with that individual or group of people.

3 Way Your Loved One Can Overcome Codependency in Addiction Recovery

1. Set Clear Boundaries

The first step for your loved one should be to set healthy boundaries. It starts by avoiding any situation or behavior that undermines their recovery. Encourage your loved one to put an end to the codependent relationship they’re in, whether by communicating with that individual face-to-face or through safer means like a phone call or letter.

Your loved one should start by outlining how important their recovery is. From there, they can put together a list of behaviors that conflict with lasting sobriety that they can share with this individual. With your loved one’s permission, you can help them create the list and communicate it effectively.

2. Encourage Your Loved to Practice Good Self Care

One way to break the shackles of codependency is to emphasize self care. It can be challenging for your loved one to untangle themselves from a codependent relationship. Self care can help them focus on their own health and well-being instead of trying to satisfy the needs of the codependent partner.

The good news is you can help your loved one practice their self care. Encourage them to exercise daily, nurture new hobbies and passions, and meditate. You can also join them in these activities to practice your own self care and help keep them motivated.

Like addiction recovery, it’s important to remind your loved one that lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. Be there to support them through setbacks and celebrate their victories.

3. Discuss the Benefits of Counseling

It’s normal for people to attend counseling for codependency. Having a trained impartial third party can give your loved one meaningful insight into the relationship. Some of the other benefits of counseling for your loved one include:

• Learning how to forge healthier relationships in recovery
• Identifying dysfunctional behavior in themselves and others
• Receiving advice on setting healthy boundaries in relationships
• Learning that their happiness is dependent on their own actions

If your loved one it hesitant about talking to a counselor, offer to go with them for moral support. There are also options for your loved one to receive counseling in the comfort of their own home. Companies like Better Help let your loved one text or video chat with a licensed counselor.

Discover Personalized Support for Your Loved One’s Recovery Journey

Going through recovery can be challenging, especially if they’re overcoming codependency. If you’re afraid that your loved one’s recovery is at risk or if they’ve already relapsed, Footprints Beachside Recovery is here to help. Our family-run addiction treatment center in Florida takes a holistic approach to drug and alcohol treatment. We’ve been through what your loved one is struggling with, which is why we’re dedicated to their health and success. By creating a personalized treatment plan, we can help your loved one reach lasting recovery.

If you’re ready to learn more about our treatment approach and how to get your loved one started, contact our admissions team today.

Have Questions? We're here to help.

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